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This is how your world could end

The 2014 El Portal fire burning near Yosemite National Park, California. Scientists have warned that rising global temperatures will lead to more wildfires in Yosemite and elsewhere. Photograph: Stuart Palley/EPA  theguardian.com - Peter Brannen - September 9th 2017

Image:  The 2014 El Portal fire burning near Yosemite National Park, California. Scientists have warned that rising global temperatures will lead to more wildfires in Yosemite and elsewhere. Photograph: Stuart Palley/EPA

theguardian.com - Peter Brannen - September 9th 2017

Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-years storms and lethal heatwaves have become fixtures of the evening news – and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1C above preindustrial temperatures. But here’s where it gets really scary.

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China's Science Revolution

Prof Peng Bo

Image: Prof Peng Bo

bbc.co.uk - May 23rd 2016 - Rebecca Morelle

China is super-sizing science.

From building the biggest experiments the world has ever seen to rolling out the latest medical advances on a massive scale and pushing the boundaries of exploration from the deepest ocean to outer space - China’s scientific ambitions are immense.

Just a few decades ago the nation barely featured in the world science rankings. 

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Ebola Treatment Using Plasma From Survivors Is Not Effective, Study Says

THE NEW YORK TIMES   By Sheri Fink, MD             January 7, 2007

A treatment once considered among the most promising for Ebola patients was not found to be effective in a study performed in Guinea, researchers reported Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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G7 Health Ministers Propose Incentives For New Antibiotics, Commit Help On Ebola

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY WATCH by Catherine Saez, Oct, 12, 2015

(Scroll down for Ministers' Statement.)

The health ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) most developed countries have issued a declaration on antimicrobial resistance and Ebola. The governments said they would explore innovative economic incentives to promote research and development of new antibiotics, such as a global antibiotic research fund and a market entry reward mechanism.

The G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States) met from 8-9 October in Berlin and agreed to the Berlin Declaration [pdf] on Antimicrobial Resistance – Global Union for Antibiotics Research and Development (GUARD), aimed at supporting developing countries to develop national antimicrobial resistance action plans.

The G7 health ministers also issued a commitment on lessons learned from Ebola, and supported the 2005 World Health Organization International Health Regulations (IHR), insisting on the need to comply with them.

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Scientists Found a Flu Vaccine Flaw—Now They Have to Fix It

Image of person withdrawing medication from a vial with a needle.

Image: Image of person withdrawing medication from a vial with a needle.

wired.com - October 9th 2015 - Sarah Zhang

Among flu viruses, H3N2 is the one you should fear the most. It lands the most patients in hospitals. It kills the most people. 

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Ebola Assay Card | Elisa-Based Diagnostic - Google Science Fair

submitted by Gavin Macgregor-Skinner

Temperature-Independent, Portable, and Rapid Field Detection of Ebola via a Silk-Derived Lateral-Flow System

googlesciencefair.com - 2015

I developed a “stable and stored at room temperature” Ebola Assay Card, applicable as an ELISA-based diagnostic for diseases such as HIV, Lyme and certain cancers, that will allow for water-activated, timed-release detection of Ebola antigens, with detection limits that are analogous to current sandwich ELISA techniques. Reagents become chemically “stabilized” when mixed into silk, which enables them to remain “chemically active” without refrigeration. This Ebola Assay Card will allow for shipment and storage without refrigeration, and provide detection of the Ebola viral antigens based on color change in as little as 30 minutes.

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

 

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How Will We Ensure the New Ebola Vaccine Reaches Those Most in Need?

HUFFINGTON POST  by Director of UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Group, Bureau of Policy and Programme Support      Aug. 10, 2015                                                                 

 We have reasons to be optimistic about the news of a new tool in the fight against Ebola. As in the fight against HIV, science and solidarity have come together to save lives. The phase III trials on efficacy of the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine have yielded an impressive result in a relatively short time -- 100 percent effectiveness in those receiving the vaccine.

While scientists still need to figure out how long the protective effect of the vaccine lasts, and how effective it will be among the general population and with different strains of the virus, without a doubt this is an important tool for the protection of health and community workers and possibly the wider community. This will certainly help in the on-going efforts to achieve the target of zero new Ebola cases and in overall recovery efforts.

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Proposed Ebola biobank would strengthen African science

NATURE by Erika Check Hayden                                                                             Aug. 10, 2015
As West Africa’s Ebola outbreak winds down, an effort is under way to make the best use of the tens of thousands of patient samples collected by public-health agencies fighting the epidemic.  Samples from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa are held by public-health agencies in the region and abroad. Daniel Berehulak/NYT/Redux/Eyevine

On 6–7 August, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to discuss how to establish a biobank for up to 100,000 samples of blood, semen, urine and breast milk from confirmed and suspected Ebola patients, as well as swabs taken from the bodies of people who died from the virus. Held by health agencies in both West Africa and the West, the samples could be valuable in understanding how the current Ebola crisis evolved, preparing for future outbreaks and developing public-health research capacity in a region that depends on outside experts.

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Experimental Ebola drug shelved; study explores virus clearance

CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE POLICY AND RESEARCH by Lisa Schnirring     July 20, 2015

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals  announced that it has suspended development of TKM-Ebola, a drug cocktail that showed disappointing human trial results in West Africa, as a convalescent plasma trial at a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) facility in Guinea proceeded with no ill effects in patients so far...

In suspending TKM-Ebola development, the company said that a joint reevaluation of its contract with the US Department of Defense is under way.

In another development, MSF said a convalescent serum trial at its facility in Nongo, Guinea, has enrolled 101 people over the last few months, with no ill effects reported so far, according to a Jul 17 update on the outbreak. Patients at the Nongo treatment unit have the option to receive plasma donated by Ebola survivors....

Meanwhile, detailed testing at a Swiss hospital on a 43-year-old doctor infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone found that viral decay occurred in two phases, once starting 72 hours after symptom onset before any antiviral interventions, with acceleration in viral load decay after ZMAb infusion and oral favipiravir treatments began..

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Ebola outbreak help extends from space

Telemedicine and innovative devices could help reduce unnecessary exposures to virus

(Two items, scroll down.)

CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORP.                                                                                 July 19, 2015

Space technology such as satellite images and telemedicine could play a bigger role in helping to control the Ebola outbreak that's killed more than 11,250 people, a Canadian doctor says.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield holds the Microflow experiment to test how the instrument counts blood cells in orbit. Such space spinoffs have the potential to be applied to outbreaks of infectious diseases on Earth. (NASA)

This week's issue of the medical journal Lancet Infectious Disease includes a commentary titled "Help from Above — outer space and the fight against Ebola."

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